Breathe

Target Practice

The next morning, Susan woke up excited to go practice archery with Caspian. This would be the real first thing they'd do together since Susan was there. She knew if they couldn't be with one another, she would want to be friends with him. Caspian was a great man, who Susan could open up to and get along with. Susan got dressed in a dark green dress with gold plating around the ends as she thought about Caspian.

Caspian barely slept at all that night. He couldn't believe his family did that to him. He was frustrated more than anything. Autumn said all of the things so truthfully Caspian couldn't impose on what she was saying. Autumn was crying, and Edmund came in and talked to him about how Susan still loved him. Caspian now thought that Edmund just said that because they're all against Autumn.

At breakfast, Peter, Susan, and Lucy were all sitting at the table discussing what they were going to do that day. Peter wasn't too sure with Susan going to spend the day with Caspian, but he trusted his sister. He had to remember she wasn't a little girl anymore with little feelings. They're discussions were broken by the doors to the dining hall opening. Caspian walked in with Autumn right at his side.

Caspian sat next to Peter and Autumn sat across from Susan. Caspian looked at Peter grimly every once in a while. He would also give some glares towards Susan for trying to get rid of Autumn. Neither noticed the hateful stares coming from Caspian.

Caspian decided to break the silence by saying, "So Peter, did you sleep well last night?" Peter drank a sip of water and said, "Yes I did. Thank you for asking."

Caspian looked at Autumn, and Autumn looked horrified by Peter's answer. Caspian wondered, how could Peter sleep trying to kiss my fiancée? Caspian clenched his jaw and tightened his fists into balls angrily.

Caspian then asked Peter, "How could you sleep knowing what you did was wrong?"

Peter chuckled saying, "I didn't that my swordsmanship yesterday was that wrong. You're funny Caspian."

Susan and Lucy laughed as well thinking Caspian was joking. Caspian was irritated they thought this was a joke. Autumn got up from the table and left. She walked quickly out of the room.

Edmund walked in when she walked out saying, "What's her problem? Peter what did you do this time?"

Everyone laughed except for Caspian he thought they were all playing along with Peter's mistake. Peter said after laughing, "I didn't do anything I swear."

That was Caspian's last straw and stormed out of the room. He pushed Edmund out of the way to get to the door. Everyone stopped laughing when Caspian stormed off and watched him leave. Edmund was jostled his friend pushed him out of the way like that.

Lucy tried to make everyone laugh again saying, "Is Caspian on his man period again?"

And it worked, the Pevensies laughter was all you could hear throughout the hallways. Caspian heard them laughing when he was already out of the room. Caspian was in such rage he didn't know what to do with himself. He couldn't understand how they could laugh. Maybe they thought that their plan was working.

Autumn found him and forced him into a hug. She said, "Caspian don't let them get to you. They want you to get mad, so I see the worst of you."

Caspian said, "But it can't be true Autumn, they can't do all of those things to you."

Autumn smiled at him sadly and said "Sometimes the worst things in life are the hardest to comprehend. Even if they are your so called family."

Caspian nodded his head and his anger subsided. "I'll tell you what. I'll keep my promise to you from last night, and I'll keep an eye on them."

Autumn nodded and kissed Caspian full forcedly and before they knew it Autumn was against a wall. This was when Caspian decided that was enough and stopped kissing her. Autumn smiled after he stopped and blushed.

Caspian went into his study and thought long and hard for a while. He heard a knocking at the door and he said, "Come in." Susan came in with a big smile and Caspian whispered under his breath saying, "Oh it's you."

Susan heard what he said and asked with her arms crossed, "What is that supposed to mean? I was just coming to ask you if you wanted to practice archery with me. I guess if you're this moody we can do it another time."

Susan turned to leave and Caspian stood saying, "Wait. Just let me get ready."

Susan waited outside of Caspian's room to allow him to change. Caspian came out, and when he walked out of the door his mood seemed to brighten up. He asked, "You ready Susan?" Susan nodded her head and they turned around to go.

When they were almost outside, King Demeterius stood in front of them to block their path. Susan was annoyed with him, she just wanted to spend time with Caspian.

Demeterius smiled at Susan more than Caspian as he said, "Good morning King Caspian and Queen Susan and a lovely morning at that. Where are you headed to?"

Susan snapped in annoyance. "Why is it any of your concern?"

Demeterius said putting his hands up in defense, "I thought you were supposed to be the gentle one. I just wanted to know because I had nothing to do on this beautiful day and was wondering if I could accompany the both of you?"

Before Susan could say no, Caspian said with a nervous smile, "Yes of course. It would be nice to get to know you better. You are going to be my father someday." Susan could tell he was nervous around Demeterius. He was Autumn's father.

They all walked together both men at Susan's side. Susan just wanted to be with Caspian. She thought to herself, "Why couldn't Caspian be his stubborn self and have said no another time maybe."

When they got to the targets, Susan finally got her bow and arrows. She felt so happy being reunited with her weapon. She was comfortable when she pulled back and took the first shot. It hit the center of the target, and she hadn't done it in a year. She laughed when both kings were watching her and had their mouths open.

She chuckled and said happily, "You could close your mouths and shoot or I can show you both up all afternoon."

Caspian laughed at Susan's enthusiasm, but Demeterius would let any woman show him up. Demeterius grabbed a bow and an arrow. He took a shot and it was on the outside of the bulls-eye circle.

Susan laughed and said, "Looks like maybe you need to practice more."

Demeterius rolled his eyes and sat down as Caspian got his bow and an arrow. When Caspian stood to take a shot, Susan said walking up to him, "Stop, stop."

Caspian turned around to face Susan, and Susan asked, "When was the last time you shot an arrow?"

Caspian smiled playfully at her and said, "Not a while…let's say about three years." Susan stifled a laugh as she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. "That explains your horrible stance."

Caspian said, "Okay since you're the expert, show me how to stand."

Susan made his feet shoulder width apart, and Susan said, "Okay now show me your anchor."

Caspian pulled back the bow string, and Susan put a light hand on his shoulder and said, "Okay now relax your shoulder. Breathe in and breathe out." Caspian relaxed and breathed in and out and closed his eyes. Susan's face was so close to Caspian's. Caspian could smell Susan she smelled amazing to him. Susan smelled like roses and pine needles. Caspian then opened his eyes and released; the arrow hit the center of the target.

Susan smiled letting there be a distance between the two. "Wow. That was amazing. Good job Caspian."

Demeterius watched them, and he noticed something going on between them. He then said, "Ok let us not get too comfortable here."

Caspian then remembered what Autumn said to him. While Caspian was here with Susan he forgot all about Autumn. When it was lunch time, Demeterius, left and Susan and Caspian had a picnic in the practice area.

Caspian asked Susan "What do you think of Autumn, Susan?"

Susan felt uncomfortable being asked about his new love. She bit her bottom lip and said, "Well….I don't know her that well yet. She wasn't as fun on the picnic Lu and I had with her than I thought she would be. She complained a lot, I'm not saying that's a bad thing but Autumn and I have nothing in common."

Caspian was upset Susan was talking about Autumn this way. Caspian thought back to what Autumn was saying that Susan wanted to ruin the wedding.

Caspian asked Susan looking at the blanket on the ground waiting for her answer, "Do you not want us to get married?"

Susan raised an eyebrow and said, "What kind of question is that Caspian? I just want you to be happy because I love you. If you love her and are happy with her, then I would want you to marry Autumn."

Caspian shook his head. "Do you think I would be happier marrying you?"

Susan was so confused. "What are you talking about Caspian? When did ever say anything like that to you?"

Caspian said, "I heard about how mean and nasty you were to Autumn at that picnic. You're trying to make my wedding go down in flames. Autumn was crying to me about how mean you were."

Susan was about to cry herself and started yelling, "I have no idea what you are talking about Caspian. If anything, Autumn was the one who was being inconsiderate. Honestly, I thought you knew me better. You know I would never do anything to hurt your relationship."

Caspian was so angry and hated fighting with Susan. Caspian got up and stormed off with tears in his eyes. Susan was so upset she needed someone to comfort her. She put her head in the grass and thought to herself.

Susan felt a poking at her side and looked up to see King Demeterius. She put her head back into the grass and said, "Go away, I'm not fit to talk to anyone right now."

Demeterius said, "Queen Susan why are you upset? You can tell me. Trust me."

Susan looked up and said, "Caspian thought I was trying to ruin his engagement. I thought he knew me better than that."

Demeterius said looking at her face, "Well I don't know what to say. I mean I saw you two today, and you both were getting pretty close and comfy together. I would say for advice give Caspian and Autumn space. I would suggest you both don't do anything alone until after the wedding."

She was actually taking his advice into consideration and said, "I'll think about it. But before I do that I think I should apologize for my behavior."

The king said, "I'm confused what do you have to apologize about? Caspian was the one who stormed of in the first place."

Susan nodded her head in agreement and said, "He did storm off but I touched him, and it probably set him off."

Susan got up and walked to the castle and bumped into Lucy. Lucy said, "Susan what did you do to Caspian? He came home with tears in his eyes."

Susan had a shocked expression and asked, "Where did Caspian go? I need to speak with him."

Lucy said, "Somewhere in the gardens; he won't let anyone speak to him not even Autumn. Now no one knows where he is in the gardens. Is everything alright Susan?"

Susan nodded her head and said, "Everything is fine Lucy don't worry about it." Susan had said it unsurely, and Lucy noticed but let it go.

Susan got to the gardens and saw Caspian sitting on the same bench Susan did with the roses. Caspian looked up to see Susan and looked back down at his hands. Susan sat next to him and picked a rose she said, "They're beautiful today don't you agree with me?"

Caspian asked looking at anything but Susan, "How did you know to find me?"

Susan said, "That's easy, I just asked Lucy and she told me here. I also go to this exact spot when I'm upset."

Caspian looked at Susan and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to storm off like that. I also don't believe you did those things to Autumn."

Susan looked into his big deep brown eyes and said, "I'm sorry for setting you off like that. Do you want to walk with me?" Susan grabbed Caspian's hand and Caspian smiled.

Caspian said "Yes. I would like that a lot."

Caspian and Susan walked along the beach holding hands. They talked about their lives when they were apart from each other. Caspian looked at Susan with sympathetic eyes while listening to her story in London. Susan had the same expression when Caspian told Susan about his past.

They both sat in the sand and laughed and held back tears. Soon it became sunset and Susan said, "I just love the sunset over the beach in Narnia."

Caspian said "That's why I put your room facing the ocean. I remembered you telling me that. I also gave you the balcony to look at the stars."

Susan laid down in the sand and propped her head on her hand. She looked at Caspian; the sun gave his black hair a tint. She smiled at him and said, "Caspian, how did you feel when you saw me again?"

Caspian thought for a moment thinking back to when Susan was drenched in ocean water and had unusual clothes on. Caspian answered, "Well I was at first relieved to see you ok. Then I was excited because you were back, and Aslan said you would never return. Then I had butterflies in my stomach, because I didn't know what to say."

Susan laughed and looked back at Caspian's beautifully sculpted face. "You didn't know what to say? You know, nothing you say I will think is stupid."

Caspian said "Well, I guess I don't know you as well as I thought I did then. I guess I was also flustered to see you again. All those memories came back to me."

Susan looked into Caspian's eyes, and Caspian looked into hers for a while. Their eyes clashed with pale blue and dark brown. Susan leaned in and kissed Caspian's cheek. When she pulled away, Caspian touched the side of her cheek lightly. She closed her eyes to his touch. They then both leaned in and kissed each other's lips. They both pulled away looking horrified.

Susan got to her feet mortified and said, "I'm sorry I didn't mean to. I…I have to go."

Caspian followed her and grabbed her hand. Susan turned around to face him she watched his lips as he spoke. Caspian said, "I guess I needed to do that before I got married. Please don't let it ruin our friendship."

Susan said, "It won't ruin our friendship, I'm just glad I got that off my chest."

Caspian and Susan walked back to the castle holding hands. But what they didn't know was one of Autumn's guards was watching them the entire time. When Autumn heard the news she knew what to do next.


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